Voice of Reason's Avatar
We are at the point in the season when some teams have good records and are wondering why they aren't getting credit. Meanwhile, we have teams with 1 win who are considered a top 15, even a top 10, team in their class. There has been some discussion about this in the rankings threads this week. A quick glance at a 5-0 team versus a 1-4 team says the 5-0 team is going to crush them. But there is often more to the story. The big question we should always ask is who have these teams played? Who has the 5-0 team beaten and who has the 1-4 team lost to?

I haven't looked closely up and down the complete schedule to see how many games we have this week where the team with a much worse record should actually be the favorite to win. I will let everyone else share some of those other games in this thread. There is one game I will look at here as a case study on strength of schedule - 6A Ohio County (5-0) at 6A Henderson County (1-4).

Ohio County is going to crush them, right? I don't think so. A closer look at the schedules tells us Ohio County has played a very weak schedule. It is by far the weakest schedule of any team in 6A. In fact, only 2 teams in classes 4A-6A have played a weaker schedule. True, Ohio County fans might say, but we are easily beating those teams with only one game being close, a 40-38 win over 2A McClean County. Unfortunately though, McClean County only has 1 win on the year. So that close win was over a 2A team who is 1-4.

Okay, but still, Henderson County is 1-4. Surely they are no match for an undefeated Ohio County. Wrong. Henderson County's strength of schedule is #10 in 6A. If we look at those losses to tough opponents, Henderson County was competitive in all those games except one. Only one team has beaten them by more than 2 touchdowns, and that Indiana team is comparable to Bowling Green.

What should we expect in this showdown between a 5-0 team and a 1-4 team? I haven't studied any film. I can't name one player on either team. Just looking at strength of schedules and the outcomes of both teams in the games played so far, I am going to predict 1-4 Henderson County beats undefeated Ohio County 35-14.

Could Ohio County win? Sure. Strength of schedule isn't an infallible indicator of how good teams are. A team can have a good record against a terrible strength of schedule and be a good team. They can be good enough to get an upset win because team confidence can have a big impact on a game - but it doesn't happen very often. Almost always when you have this wide a difference in strength of schedule it matters much more in predicting team strength and a game's outcome than the actual win loss records. There you go Ohio County. Prove us wrong. Show us you are much better than your strength of schedule and results indicate.

Are there other games like this happening this week where the team with a much worse record is probably going to win because their poor record is against a very strong strength of schedule? Post them here and let's talk. Now that we are halfway into the season and strength of schedule is pretty clear, I am interested in seeing how teams with bad records and poor SOS fair against teams with better records and poor SOS.